|Growing up with rockets, a typical sign of the times|
(and a great documentary too)
My first glance showed the space center on the screen and I wondered if it was some sort of anniversary of a particular launch that I'd forgotten about. It only took a few seconds to realize how wrong I was. The newscasters were fumbling, at a loss for words, as no one really understood, in those first moments, what was going on. What we in that crowd did know, longer experienced with live launchings, loudly unspoken in a palpable silence, was that this was completely wrong, that those aboard the Challenger were not going to be rescued, that survival was not possible.
My first thought was my children. I knew they'd have been out on the playground with their classmates, just as we were as children long before, watching the event happening before their eyes. I wanted to be with them. Right now. Driving home with that devastating burst of trails still in the sky, I thought, all any of us want right now is to be with the ones we love. I think there was a lot of holding our loved ones tight going on that day and into the night, the fleetingness and preciousness of life heartpoundingly carved into our beings after days of so much hope and excitement.
|credit: Jim Cole (AP)|
We might have explanations now, but really? It still feels just as wrong and just as sad as that long ago day.
All extreme explorers face the possibility of plans going disastrously wrong; history is full of their stories. This is one of them. Is it better to stay safely home? I don't think so, not at all. But then, those who don't come back never get to tell us their gladness or sorrow of choices. The risks are known, they take them and sometimes that is all we find out.
In honor of this crew, this day, salud.
Have a teach your children well Thursday. Do something tenderly.